DETROIT—DTE Energy Ventures recently made an equity investment in Massachusetts-based A123Systems, which is developing lithium ion batteries for automotive applications and announced plans to open a manufacturing plant in Livonia, Mich.
The company also is developing batteries that can be used on the electrical system to provide grid stability and potentially to store power produced by renewable generation. DTE Energy Ventures’ investment was part of a $69 million financing round completed earlier this month.
“We are excited about the potential of A123Systems to establish itself as a leader in the development of advanced battery technology,” said Knut Simonsen, president, DTE Energy Ventures. “They have the technical expertise and the management talent to achieve and maintain a position at the forefront of this emerging industry.”
DTE Energy Chairman and CEO Anthony F. Earley Jr. said he appreciates the commitment by A123Systems to the domestic auto industry and to Michigan. The company has established a strategic partnership with Chrysler LLC and has announced plans to open a production facility in Livonia.
“We believe A123Systems has the potential to become a leading player in its industry, and we are also pleased with its decision to invest in Michigan,” Earley said. “Investment by leading-edge, high-tech companies like A123Systems can help transform both the auto industry and Michigan’s economy.”
DTE Energy financing and financing from others has helped A123Systems accelerate plans to its manufacturing facilities in the United States. David Vieau, president and CEO said the company expects it will create needed jobs and help establish the United States as a global leader in advanced batteries.
“We applaud DTE Energy for its commitment to an emerging industry with the potential to change the way we consume energy in the future,” Vieau said.
A123Systems first invested in Michigan when it acquired Ann Arbor-based T/J Technologies in 2006. The company later expanded operations by establishing an automotive engineering team that is currently in a facility in Novi.
DTE Energy Ventures, a subsidiary of DTE Energy, invests in and works with high-potential energy technology companies to develop products and nurture businesses. The subsidiary has invested more than $100 million in energy-related companies and funds and is one of the largest Michigan-based venture capital operations.
DTE Energy is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include Detroit Edison, an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in southeastern Michigan, MichCon, a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan, and other nonutility, energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, coal and gas midstream, unconventional gas production and energy trading. Information about DTE Energy is available at www.dteenergy.com.